Navjot Singh Sidhu Convicted Under Section 323 in 1988 Road Rage Case
Navjot Singh Sidhu (Photo Credits: PTI)

New Delhi, May 15:  The Supreme Court on Tuesday pronounced its judgement on the appeal filed by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who was awarded three-year jail term by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in a 1988 road rage case. In its judgement, the Apex Court convicted Sidhu under section 323 and acquitted under section 304( (II) in 1988 road rage case.

Under 323, Sidhu will be punished for voluntarily causing hurt. Section 304 has been dropped which means he will not be punished for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. According to a report by PTI, besides Sidhu, currently the Tourism Minister of Punjab, an appeal was also filed by Rupinder Singh Sandhu, who was also convicted and sentenced to three-year jail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the case.

According to the prosecution, Sidhu and Sandhu were allegedly in a Gypsy parked on the middle of a road near the Sheranwala Gate Crossing in Patiala on December 27, 1988, when the victim and two others were on their way to the bank to withdraw money. Reports alleged that when they had reached the crossing, Gurnam Singh, driving a Maruti car, found the Gypsy in the middle of the road and asked the occupants, Sidhu and Sandhu, to remove it. This led to heated exchanges, a PTI report stated.

The report further states that the counsel for the complainant had argued that Sidhu's sentence should be enhanced as it was a case of murder and the cricketer-turned-politician had deliberately removed the keys of deceased's car so that he did not get medical assistance.

To recall, Sidhu was acquitted of the murder charges by the trial court in September 1999. However, the high court had reversed the verdict and held Sidhu and Sandhu guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder in December, 2006. It had sentenced them to three-year jail and imposed a fine of Rs one lakh each on the convicts.

On April 18, a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul had reserved its judgement in the case in which Sidhu, who had quit the BJP and joined the Congress days before the Punjab assembly election last year, had claimed that evidence about the cause of death of victim Gurnam Singh was contradictory and the medical opinion in this regard was "vague".